Interview with Bernard Goldberg (author of BIAS)

Excerpts from an interview with Bernard Goldberg who was a news correspondent for CBS news for 28 years.  He describes himself as a "middle of the road" liberal. He is author of the best seller BIAS which details the liberal bias of the media.

GOLDBERG:  When they say that, they mean 'who in the world would be interested in a subject like bias in the news?' They think that only people who have no teeth and/or who are dating their first cousin are interested in something like this. So when they say surprise, they don't--if two people are interested in the subject, it's a surprise to them.

When I say surprise, it means something totally different. I wrote this book after I left CBS News, I had no idea what it would do in terms of selling books. I did know this, though. I knew that millions and millions of regular Americans between Manhattan and Malibu were interested in this subject, that's number one. And number two, that the geniuses that I used to work for at CBS News, the executives and people like that, thought that nobody was interested in this. So I was surprised, pleasantly surprised, when it did so well. But I've since figured out why it's done so well, and it has nothing to do with my ability; it has to do with I tapped into a bubbling discontent in this country. And I caught up with the American people.

These are people who knew about bias long before I ever wrote about it and they had been complaining about it, but they'd been complaining about it where, you know, they might as well have been talking to the wall. Just as when I had complained about it privately at CBS News for seven or eight or nine years, I might as well have been talking to the wall. But then here comes a news correspondent, a mainstream news correspondent, who was with a mainstream news organization for 28 years, saying, 'You're right, there is a problem.'

A number of years ago, quite some time ago, David Shaw of the L.A. Times ran a big series on how abortion is treated by the mainstream media and came to the conclusion, and he works for a liberal newspaper, the L.A. Times, and came to the conclusion that mainstream journalists do not treat anti-abortion people well and are, in fact, pro-abortion in their coverage. That's not me. It's one of the top media critics in the United States of America, David Shaw of the L.A. Times.

What bothers me is when news people have this liberal slant, this liberal outlook on life and they don't even get it. They think that they are the only species on planet Earth that can put their biases aside and simply do their job.

Let me tell you what it's not. It is not a conspiracy. Dan Rather, Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw do not go into their offices in the morning, summon their top lieutenant, lock the doors, pull the shades, give the secret handshake, and say, 'How are we going to stick it to conservatives?' it does not happen that way.

Here's what happens: They don't think that their positions on the most controversial issues of our time are liberal positions. They think they're mainstream positions, because all their friends in the bubble think the same way as they do. They think everything to the right of center is conservative. Correct. And everything to the left of center is moderate and mainstream. That's how crazy it is.

And that's why you can go up to these people and say, 'Well, there's a liberal bias.' And they'll say, 'No there isn't. And anybody who says there is, is a conservative ideologue and that's the only reason they're saying it.' They don't look at themselves because it's as if you asked a fish what it's like to be wet all day. And the fish says, 'What do you mean wet? What's wet?' The fish has no concept of wet because he has no other frame of reference. Well, these people live in the same type of environment. And that's why--that's why fixing the problem themselves is so incredibly difficult.

"There is no conspiracy - just businessmen doing what businessmen do the best - selling product."  (Goldberg in BIAS as for why the media is liberally biased)

(the original interview is no longer available on the web)

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